Saturday, December 18, 2010

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The perfect Christmas/Chanukah gift for your anglophone Americanophile friends: the travel writings, diaries, letters, etc. of Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont from their 1831 trip to America, selected by Olivier Zunz and published in my translation by the U. of Virginia Press. This is the stuff from which Democracy in America was made, now in English for the first time (mostly). See Tocqueville among the Quakers. Discover Detroit before automobiles and Eminem. Watch as Tocqueville nearly drowns in the Ohio River and nearly dies in the backwoods of Tennessee. Learn what he thought of American women and song (his thoughts on American wines, if any existed at the time, are not recorded, but you will find him being drunk under the table by the members of the New York City Council). Seriously, a great read.

4 comments:

Stephen Cahaly said...

Mr. Goldhammer, self-advertise, self-advertise. I want to thank you for all the elegant translations you've brought to us. Your version of "Democracy in America" is a real treasure. I love how you brought attention to the way Tocqueville's key words like "mores" shift depending on the context, and went ahead and translated accordingly. Your translation of "The Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution" leaves me breathless, thinking how you were able to bring such a mammoth undertaking to an English-speaking only audience, and with idea-rich English prose. Personally I would be at a loss without it, as Francois Furet and his work has been a tremendous teacher about French culture. I'm really looking forward to reading these newly translated travel writings, diaries, and letters of the always insightful, sometimes amusing Alexis de Tocqueville. Happy holidays to you and to all.

Unknown said...

Thank you!

FrédéricLN said...

Happy holidays too, and congratulations for all the translation job - even if I remain among the 2% of the people in the world who will feel more at ease with the version française!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the recommendation.

Thought you'd be interested in this article, about one of the few "diverse" (!) Prefects, kicked out to make space for a friend of Eric Besson, who used to be in charge of "identité nationale".
http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2010/12/21/la-franche-comte-sous-le-choc-apres-le-brusque-depart-du-prefet-de-region_1456168_823448.html